Six tips to thrive at a corporate lunch

Six tips to thrive at a corporate lunch

Ideally, a corporate lunch should take place in a room, with air-conditioning on warmer days, and listeners 100% focused on you. However, great opportunities do not always present themselves as we would hope – but this is no reason to miss out on them.

 

Your chance to talk about a new project, a change of path or innovative plan might be during lunchtime, for instance. Having meals with your boss or potential clients are recurring situations you can use to introduce great ideas, hence the importance of being ready to show how good your idea is.

 

Sure, unexpected issues may come up, but if you address them tactfully and train your speech properly your chances of success are huge.

 

We have listed six tips to help you prepare for your next corporate lunch.

 

Get ready

 

Before delivering any presentation, you must know by heart your audience’s interests and needs. In a corporate lunch is no different. Carry out a thorough research about the person you are meeting with and what type of innovation and solution the company, and its specific department, is looking for to guarantee you will offer something that makes sense and interests your listener.

Be straightforward

 

A corporate lunch is still a meal. Your interlocutor will be sharing his/her attention between your speech, the food and other distractions – such as the noise in the restaurant and the waiter coming to the table regularly. So, it is of uttermost importance to get his/her attention right in the beginning, assuring your message is comprehended. Be straightforward, clear and brief in your intentions.

Classify your information

 

Divide the information between “most important” and “least important”. If there is not enough time to discuss everything you wanted to, at least you make sure the essential message is delivered.

Avoid alcoholic beverages

 

Although it is lunch, the context demands solemnity. In order to have a flowing conversation, good verbal and non-verbal communication, the speaker must be sober. Otherwise, he/she might lose concentration and get lost in the speech. So, even if the other person orders or offers you a drink, decline and say, “thank you”.

Eat whenever you want, speak whenever you can

 

This is a motherly advice: “Speaking with your mouth full is unpolite” – and it is no different here. Obviously, we are supposed to eat during lunch, nonetheless, our focus is divided between what we see, hear, feel and do.

 

If you want your listener to pay attention at what you are saying, save your speech to the breaks between dishes or the coffee just after the meal, when your audience’s attention is most likely to be focused on your speech.

 

Bringing up your ideas during the meal is not frowned upon, after all this is a casual gathering, but remember to respect the space of your listener and to find the most appropriate moment to talk.

 

Should I bring slides?

 

The answer to this question is “No!”. The visual support is a great ally to make your presentation memorable. However, it is not recommended during lunch. It seems inconvenient to open a laptop on the table and show dozens of slides or even hand in a brochure that must be managed.

 

If the meeting is taking place in a restaurant that offers a private room and an appropriate place for a presentation, then you may make use of such resource, but remember: always between courses.

 

If you follow our tips, your presentation will stand out more than the main dish.

 

Willing to learn more about state-of-the-art presentations? Contact us at contato@soap.com.br and check out our blog!

How to Handle a Q & A Session

A Q&A session should be the last segment of every presentation you make, as it’s a time when doubts can be clarified and issues further explored. It’s also a great opportunity to interact with your public and learn more about their concerns, questions and interests. So, if you’ve mastered the subject you’re presenting and you feel confident, you should always save some minutes for audience questions at the end of the presentation.

 

Here are some tips on handling a Q & A session:

 

1. Announce the session: If you’re sure that there will be time for a Q & A at the end of a presentation, tell your audience early on. This way you avoid interruptions; you can even encourage the audience to make note of their questions as you go along, so you can answer them in the end.

 

2. Repeat the questions: When you’re presenting in large auditoriums, there should be a microphone available for the audience. If there isn’t, repeat each question into your own microphone before answering. Everybody in the room needs  to know what question is being answered.

 

3. Be brief: Make sure you stick to what is asked and give concise answers, especially if a lot of people are waiting their turn. Also, if you take too long in answering a question, you may annoy the audience and compromise the good impression you made throughout the presentation.

 

 

1. Be a mediator: In addition to answering audience questions, be a mediator too. If somebody insists on a point, repeats a question or starts to ramble off-topic, explain that you’ll be happy to address that particular question via email.

 

2. Relax in the face of hard questions: If you don’t understand a question, ask for a rephrasing. If you don’t know the answer (and this can happen), admit it. (Being honest can only help you with an audience.) Once you’ve said you’re not able to answer well at that moment, tell the questioner that you’ll do some research on the topic and get back to the entire audience on it – by email, for example. (Then again, if you think there’s an audience member qualified to answer that particular question, throw it to that person.)

 

3. End on time: If a lot of people have questions and you’re running out of time, announce a few minutes beforehand that you can take only one or two more questions. (And you should try to close the session with an answer that strengthens your main message.)

 

So for your next presentation, make sure you save some time for a Q&A, and use these tips. You’re audience will appreciate it.

The best way to persuade somebody

 

To get somebody to do what you want without realizing your intention, is an art.  Even better is when people think they’re doing your thing because they want to.

 

In most cases, the goal of a Presentation is to convince one person (or many) to pursue  an idea, a goal, a cause, a project —  even an investment in a new company.

 

How is this presenting done? Traditionally: with numbers, studies, charts and various types of surveys.

 

After all, to make a good decision you need to be surrounded by all the information you can get, right? Wrong! …  Well, maybe right, but only half-right!

 

If it were true that information enables accomplishment, everybody would be eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising every day, avoiding fried foods, sugar, salt, and smoking … everybody would be avoiding all that is bad for the sake of a healthier life.

 

But exercising every day, as some kind of duty, is just plain boring.

 

Yet, I could easily play tennis from Monday to Monday. Many children hate pumpkins but happily eat pumpkin pie.

 

So in a nutshell, by making something look like fun, it can become very attractive.

 

To make a Presentation “fun”, and to get people do things they maybe don’t really want to do or maybe never thought to do before, you need to give your audience a bit of fun, a little entertainment. If it works in your day-to-day life, why wouldn’t it work the same way in your Presentation?

  

A good example of how to do this is discussed at  The Fun Theory site, where you’ll find this philosophy: “Something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.”

 

 

And check out this video for a nice example of The Fun Theory applied in a day-by-day context:

 

 

Now wouldn’t you like to spice up your own presentations with a bit of entertainment?